I’m Not Quite at Home on Either Side of the Atlantic

German/American writer Rosmarie Waldrop writes about her feeling of displacement between Europe and America

Between

I’m not quite at home
on either side of the Atlantic
I’m not irritated the fish
kept me
a home makes you forget
unaware
where you are
unless you think you’d like
to be some place
I can’t think I’d like to be
some other place
places are much the same
aware
I’m nowhere
I stand securely in a liquid pane
touched on all sides
to change your country
doesn’t make you
grow (a German doll
into an image of America?)
it doesn’t make you change so much
you can’t remember
I remember
things are much the same
so much the same
differences are barbed
I try out living at a distance
watching from a window
immobile
not all here
or there
a creature with gills and lungs
I live in shallow water
but when it rains
I inherit the land

diptych2

Across the Ocean. Kathleen Tompsett. 2012

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